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All posts for the month January, 2014

Hearst Castle at San Simeon

Published January 25, 2014 by Jana

I visited Hearst Castle at San Simeon.

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It is waaaay up a hill.  They drive you up in tour buses, and it was a little scary!  See the little bus?

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I have seen so many pictures of the amazing pool there that I had to go since I was so close.  Turns out, there are 2 amazing pools.  One outside, the Neptune Pool, is the one I recognized.  And the indoor Roman Pool.  I would take either one.

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The grounds are lovely as well, with a huge variety of shrubs, flowers, trees and succulents.  I don’t know what all these are, just beautiful. 

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And the hummingbird, I took a whole bunch of pics, but this is the only one that is decent.

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I wandered around the grounds for hours, they let you do that on the outside.  You have to go on a tour of the inside, choosing 1 of 3 options.  I didn’t really care which one, so I took the one with the next bus.  It was the Grand Rooms tour, so I saw the Grand Rooms.  I don’t get too impressed with inside stuff, but it was striking.

Later,

Jana

“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle

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Califonia Dreamin’ . . .

Published January 24, 2014 by Jana

The main reason for my California visit was to see Morro Bay.  For many years it has been on my list of places to see.  I’m not sure where I first heard of it, but it stuck in my head.

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This is Morro Rock.  At Morro Bay.  How ’bout that!

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Oh, gross! 

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I wandered North up the coast.  There are so many gorgeous views, it was hard to decide which to share. 

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This is Moonstone Beach.  I did a little searching and with the help of another rock hunter, I found a few moonstones, as well as some other pretty stones. 

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I will be giving some to Mackenzie, my great-niece, when I see her on my way home.  She is a rock hound, like me, and maybe someday I can bring her to see this beach. 

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Later,

Jana

“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character” – Henry David Thoreau

Eeyore!

Published January 23, 2014 by Jana

I visited a ghost town, Oatman, AZ.  Well, it claims to be a ghost town.  There are an awful lot of people living and working there for a ghost town.  It is more like an old west town.

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Donkeys included.  lol 

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I traveled on Rt. 66 to and from Oatman.

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Through the Mohave Desert there are miles and miles of these roadside mounds.  I think they are some sort of sand or water control. 

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Hundreds of people have marked them with names and such in rocks.  I think it’s like desert graffiti.  Coleslaw Kid went to a little extra effort and painted his rocks in some kind of sparkly paint before spelling out his tag name. 

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I also made a quick visit to Joshua Tree National Park.  I hiked out into the desert for about a mile and watched the sunset.  I didn’t want to go too far, there wasn’t a real trail.  I made sure I could still hear people and road traffic, so I couldn’t get lost. 

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Later,

Jana

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

 

Lake Havasu Balloon Festival, Part 4

Published January 22, 2014 by Jana

One more post of the pretty balloons!  This morning I watched the mass ascension from the London Bridge. 

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The weather was perfect for the balloons.  There were over 50 in the air at one point, in all directions.  It was phenomenal! 

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This one came over the bridge so low, on purpose, that traffic stopped!

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There was some sort of rainbow effect going on in the clouds near this balloon.

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Later,

Jana

 “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” – Susan Heller

Lake Havasu Balloon Festival, Part 3

Published January 21, 2014 by Jana

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In the evenings, there is “The Glow”.  The balloons line up very close to each other.  Then they inflate and just hang out.  They have a DJ and play music and the pilots flash the flames.  Sometimes to keep the balloons inflated, sometimes in time with the music.  And they let everybody wander around the balloons, chat with the pilots and crews. 

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They bump into each other as the wind pushes them around.  They also bump into the palm trees that are on the golf course where the festival is held.  I kept waiting for one to pop, but they must be tougher than they look. 

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This pic is for my great-niece, Baylee.  I don’t know how, but she got the nickname “Bug”.

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They also have live entertainment.  Not so great, but they played a song that gave me a Badlees flashback.  That “Take A Load Off . . . ” song.  I don’t know what the title is or who sang it, I just know the Badlees do it soooo much better!  Of course, they always go off on a musical tangent during this song; it usually takes 10 + minutes for them to finish it. 

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I had my funnel cake today.  i also had a bacon wrapped hot dog.  And I bought a bag of kettle corn.  not my most healthy eating day!

Later,

Jana

 “Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.” – Ray Bradbury

Lake Havasu Balloon Festival, Part 2

Published January 20, 2014 by Jana

I was talking with some other visitors to the balloon festival during the evening launch.  We never exchanged names, but it was great talking with them.  They are Elks members and were telling me about that in relation to RVing.  They have a Pace Arrow and do a lot of camping at Elks locations.  It’s much cheaper than other campgrounds, safer than Wal-Mart and will at least have electric.  I am going to check into that. 

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Here is the famous London Bridge, with a few balloons naturally!  I was talking to a semi-local couple, Earl and Mary, who volunteer at the festival.  They told me to go down to the bridge area, along the water.  The balloons come in, touch down in the water and then take off again.  It was awesome!

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The boaters were kind of annoying and really weren’t supposed to be there.  Some of the people on shore were yelling at them to move, they kept getting in the way of pictures.  But it was still impressive what some of the  balloon pilots were able to do.

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They have a whole built up touristy area around the bridge.  It was fun to wander around.

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Oh, and maybe another Turkey Hill cousin???

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Later,

Jana

    “Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.” – Ray Bradbury

Lake Havasu Balloon Festival, Part 1

Published January 19, 2014 by Jana

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While I was browsing through an Arizona events calendar that I downloaded, I saw a balloon festival at Lake Havasu City.  Not as big as the one in New Mexico, but it will do!  Plus the real London Bridge is there.  Since I’ve visited London, I figured I should go see it.

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It is a 3 day event, so be prepared for a lot of balloon pics!  There are over 50 balloons and they schedule a ‘mass ascension’ a couple times a day.  This is, of course, based on weather conditions. 

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The first morning was pretty good and many balloons were in the air.  They were pretty spread out, but I got some decent multi balloon shots.  I love the witch and, of course, Angry Bird.  The colors are so brilliant and with the blue sky and bright sun it is a feast for the eyes.

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Angry Bird up, Angry Bird down!

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The evening launch did not happen.  The winds were too strong and would blow them across the lake and into California.  It is a really long drive to get around the lake and would have been too much for the chase crews. 

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A few went up for a couple minutes, but were back down quickly, and still in AZ.  But many did inflate, even though they just stayed on the ground. 

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There is a fair like atmosphere, with all the good/bad fair foods you would expect.  I will have a funnel cake before I leave!

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Later,

Jana

“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” – Andre Gide